Though black bear sightings are fairly common in the area, bears have been poking their heads around and climbing trees to the surprise of Montville residents lately.
Last week, a family of black bears climbed a tree, causing police and New Jersey Fish and Wildlife officials to spend hours in the Pine Brook neighborhood keeping residents safe until the bears came down. Later that day, it was reported that bears were spotted near a playground in Montville.
Montville is not the only town being bothered by bears. Last weekend, Parsippany police responded to several 911 calls for bear sightings, according to Parsippany Patch, and Morristown Patch reported that Morris Township police were on the lookout after residents reported bears and a "mountain lion" on Wednesday.
But bears were also seen sniffing garbage cans and approaching residents' properties in Montville Township Wednesday. One resident, Zan Franc, shared a story and some photos of his family's encounter with a bear in the afternoon:
My son, 9-year-old Blaine, and his friend, Anthony, were having a catch with a football on Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. in our front yard on John Henry Drive and to their surprise, a bear came out of the woods at the end of the road and started approaching them. The boys screamed and ran into the house. This must have startled the bear, as he was gone once the parents came out to see it.
Around 6 p.m., the bear was seen again on the next road over (Van Riper Road). It came out from behind a house on Van Riper and crossed the road and started knocking over garbage cans for food. The bear then ran across Luckenbill Drive, back over John Henry and took off into the condo complex next to our street.
Have photos of bears snooping around your yard in Montville? Upload them to our gallery by clicking "Upload Photos and Videos" and share your bear stories in the comments.